OF THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURE, AND THE VITAL SPIRIT.
(God and the World; God is Nature and Spirit.)
Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
The Eighteen Lectures
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL
IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN
By CHARLES WILKINS 1785
L E C T U R E. 07.
L E. C T U R E VII.
OF THE PRINCI LES OF NATURE, AND THE VITAL SPIRIT.
HEAR, O Arjuna, how having thy mind attached to me, being in the exercise of devotion, and making me alone thy asylum, thou wilt, at once, and without doubt, become acquainted with me. I will instruct thee in this wisdom and learning without reserve ; which having learnt, there is not in this life any other that is taught worthy to be known.
A few amongst ten thousand mortals strive for perfection; and but a few of those who strive and become perfect, know me according to my nature. My principle is divided into eight distinctions: earth, water, fire, air, and ether (Khaṁ); together with mind, understanding, and Ahaṁkāra, (self-consciousness) but besides this, know that I have another principle distinct from this, and superior, which is of a vital nature and by which this world is supported. Learn that these two are the womb of all nature.
I am the creation and the dissolution of the whole universe. There is not any thing greater than I; and all things hang on me, even as precious gems upon a string. I am moisture in the water, light in the sun and moon, invocation in the Vedas, found in the firmament, human nature in mankind, sweet-smelling flavor in the earth, glory in the source of light; in all things I am life, and I am zeal in the zealous; and know, O Arjuna, that I am the eternal feed of all nature. l am the understanding of the wise, the glory of the proud, the strength of the strong, free from lust and anger; and in animals I am desire regulated by moral fitness. But know that I am not in those natures which are of the three qualities called Satva, Raja, and Tamas, although they proceed from me. yet, they are in me. The whole of this world being bewildered by the influence of these three-fold qualities, knoweth not that I am distinct from these and without decline. This my divine and supernatural power endued with these principles and properties, is hard to be overcome. They who come unto me get the better of this supernatural influence. The wicked, the foolish, and the low-minded come not unto me, because their understandings, being bewildered by the supernatural power, they trust in the principles of evil spirits.
I am, O Arjuna, served by four kinds of people who are good the distressed, the inquisitive, the wishers after wealth, and the wise. But of all these the wise man, who is constantly engaged in my service, and is a servant but of one, is the most distinguished. I am extremely dear to the wise man, and he is dear unto me. All these are exalted; but I esteem the wise man even as myself, because his devout spirit dependeth upon me alone as his ultimate resource. The wise man proceedeth not unto me until after many births; for the exalted mind, who believeth that the Son of Vāsudēvā is all, is hard to be found. Those whose understandings are drawn away by this and that pursuit, go unto other Dēvatās. They depend upon this and that rule of conduct, and are governed by their own principles. Whatever image any supplicant is desirous of worshipping in faith, it is I alone who inspire him with that steady faith; with which being endued, he endeavoureth to render that image propitious, and at length he obtaineth the object of his withes as it is appointed by me. But the reward of such short-sighted men is finite. Those who worship the Dēvatās go unto them, and those who worship me alone go unto me. The ignorant, being unacquainted with my supreme nature, which is superior to all things, and exempt from decay,
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believe me, who am invisible, to exist in the visible form under which they see me. I am not visible to all, because I am concealed by the supernatural power that is in me. The ignorant world do not discover this, that I am not subject to birth or decay. I know, O Arjuna, all the beings that have passed, all that are present, and all that shall hereafter be; but there is not one amongst them who knoweth me. All beings in birth find their reason fascinated and perplexed by the wiles of contrary sensations, arising from love and hatred.. Those men of regular lives, whose sins are done away, being freed from the fascination arising from those contending passions, enjoy me. They who put their trust in me and labor for a deliverance from decay and death, know Brahman, the whole Adhyātma, and every Karma. The devout souls who know me to be the Adhi-būta, the Adhi-daiva, and the Adhi-yagna, know me also in the time of their departure.